Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria

Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
Intelligence reports suggest jihadists among the Syria rebels have technical know-how to produce chemical warheads.

Was the first use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war carried out by rebel forces fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad?

The mysterious explosion last Tuesday near the city of Aleppo, which killed 26 people and wounded dozens, was swiftly labeled by Western intelligence agencies as a chemical incident perpetrated by forces loyal to Assad.

U.S. President Barack Obama was even asked during a press conference in Israel whether the incident would change his administration’s non-intervention policy on Syria. But as more information passes, a different picture is beginning to emerge. The explosion claimed the lives of Syrian Armed Forces soldiers who are apparently loyal to Assad, and the Syrian government was quick to demand an international investigation of the incident.

These two facts would indicate that Assad’s forces were not behind the attack.

There’s a reason chemical weapons haven’t been used by any relevant countries since WWI, and it’s not because everyone got together and agreed that they’re too nasty. They’re hardly effective. Easily countered and way too dependent on conditions, a change in wind direction will have have clouds blowing towards your own units. Not good for close quarters urban warfare like what is going on in Syria.

If Assad were to use them, he invites foreign intervention. The rebels on the other hand can use them without fear of foreign reprisals because they’re fighting for democracy (:drool:) and because the media is overwhelmingly anti-Assad and doesn’t care about facts most of the time (plus there is no easy way to find out which side it actually was), using chemical weapons could help their cause.

I think we missed our opportunity for a positive outcome by not backing the rebel alliance sooner. Instead they have sought aid from radical islamic forces, who were only too happy to come in guns blazing to further their goal of a global caliphate, and are now in a nasty struggle between a terrorist theocratic dictatorship or a terrorist theocratic dictatorship.

Tossing our hat into the ring - somewhat - didn’t work too well in Libya and Egypt. I see no reason to think Syria would go better. It’s monsters vs. monsters there, and a lot of people who just want to live peaceful lives getting chewed up from both sides.

The problem in assessing who did what is that the sources of “information” are the candidates for that blame.

I always back the rebel alliance

We shouldn’t be involved at all.

Oh and Assad isn’t a theocrat, he’s completely secular which is why Islamists hate him.

BBC News - Carla Del Ponte ‘stupefied by Syrian opposition sarin use’

A leading United Nations investigator says she is ‘stupefied’ by the testimony from victims of the Syrian conflict that rebels have used nerve agent sarin.

Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof”.

She said her panel had not yet seen evidence of government forces using chemical weapons.